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Photography - Toby Darley

 

History

Waverley Estate was built in 1856 as a simple three roomed cottage and separate barn constructed of local bluestone.

In 1863 it was purchased by school teacher George Anstey, fondly known as 'Gentleman George', who turned the barn into the School House and added two formal rooms and the portico to the existing bluestone cottage and called it the 'George Anstey Academy for Young Gentlemen'. One hundred and forty years ago young men would learn the finer points of calligraphy and the joys of double entry bookkeeping. However, in 1869 at the tender age of 32 years George sadly died in a riding accident.

Shortly following, the property belonged to John and Isabel Inglis. Formerly a shepherd in Scotland, John and his wife Isabel were married in 1836 and immigrated to South Australia in 1847. They retired to Port Elliot (Waverley) and died within three weeks of one another in 1897 and were buried in the Port Elliot cemetery.

Mary Brackenridge nee Inglis (born Scotland 1839), the eldest Inglis daughter, moved to Waverley after the death of her husband to care for her ageing parents. Then Mary's nephew and niece, Samuel and Isabella (Bell) Inglis came to live with her. Mary died in 1903 and was also buried in the Port Elliot cemetery.

Isabella Inglis was a member of the Port Elliot ladies cricket club. In 1938 she travelled to Scotland and visited relatives. (The Isabella suite is named in her memory). Sam and Isabella stayed on at Waverley after their Aunts death.

Samuel (Sam) Inglis became a farmer and grazier at Port Elliot. He died in 1927 and was also buried in the Port Elliot cemetery.

Waverley had other owners, including the Brakenridge and Hornsby families, right up until the mid 1960's when unfortunately it remained unsold and abandoned and fell into disrepair until its renovation in early 1990 by Chris Norris.   

The Schoolhouse - 'George Anstey Academy for Young Gentlemen'. Situated behind the main house, the School House was built around the same time as the main house and used to conduct a private school for boys.

An advertisement in the Southern Argus 5th March 1869 read:

'Academy for young Gentlemen, classics, mathematics taught. A sound English Education given. Bookkeeping by double entry and surveying if required. The next quarter commences in April 5th approximo - no extras. Terms 3/3/- payable in advance.

George Anstey. References can be given if required.  

The School House and basement were constructed from finely laid bluestone. All quoins, window frames and door jambs were made using local red brick. The roof was originally slate and the windows had unusual multi-faceted panes.

The school was only open for five years.

In the heritage study of 1985, the main house received a 'B' listing but the School House was classified in the 'A' category. The study deemed the school room at Waverley to be a unique example of South Australia's heritage - as the following demonstrates. 'Of the many schools that once flourished in the region, this school room is one of the oldest and most interesting examples and it illustrates the early individual social development of Waterport'.